Local businesses with websites have to take advantage of search engines. Local SEO is a great source of traffic. According to Business2Community, 50% of consumers who conducted a local search visited the store within a day. The results are there for people who optimize their site for local SEO. The problem is that SEO can be a daunting topic. So we’ll break it down for you. First off, how should we define local SEO? What is local SEO?
Define Local SEO – The Basics
Local SEO is an effective way to market your business online. Local SEO is optimizing your company to appear in local searches. It’s not only Google that’s a strong local SEO choice. Targeting services like Yelp and Foursquare will help with your local SEO. Millions of people search for local businesses every day. They look for the best service or business in town. That’s what your goal is for local SEO. You want as many local eyes on your business as possible. The only way to do that is to be on the 1st page of any search result.
The problem with local SEO is that it’s changing all the time. Search engines like Google make changes to their algorithm quite often. Every year, they’ll make several changes to their algorithm and post updates on their blog. SEO requires constant improvements to your page. If not, your ranking could find itself at the bottom of page 3.
The Benefits of Local SEO
One of the main reasons why local SEO is so useful is because it attracts new customers. It positions your company as a leader within your local region or city. The higher your ranking is, the more visibility you get.
Customers are searching for local businesses online nowadays. Whether it’s desktop or mobile, people are looking. Purchasing decisions are easier if a customer can feel or see the product. Services are easier to find online than driving through the streets to find what they need.
Another great benefit of local SEO is that it’s targeted. Local SEO ensures that your audience is relevant due to proximity. Everybody that finds your site through local SEO is a potential customer. It’s also less competitive, compared to global rankings. You’re competing with other local businesses only.
In general, local SEO tends to provide a great return on investment. There’s very little wasted exposure when you invest in local SEO. It’s also an inbound channel that reaches customers when they have a need. It’s a timely method of inbound generation. You’re reaching customers when they are looking for services, instead of forcing your way in front of them. It’s perfect because it’s both cost-effective and efficient.
The last benefit is that local SEO has high conversion levels. Compared to other local advertising channels, local SEO offers the most visibility. Online local directories display all your business information, like name and address. These directories are often marked as the first results on local searches. Local directory marketing tends to have a higher conversion rate than other methods. For some directories, these rates can go up to 50%. The more directories your business is on, the better your chances are.
So now that we know what local SEO is and the benefits of it, how can we prepare our site for it? Well, there are several factors to keep in mind.
Localize Your Website
The first step is to make sure your website includes your city, country, or region within its content. All references to your location should be as natural as possible. Try to fit it in wherever possible, such as the title, headlines, and body content. If your business has several locations, you could create separate pages for each city. Each site would have a strategy focused around content that’s localized.
Claim Your Google My Business Listing
After you’ve localized your site, you will want to claim your Google My Business page. This is a key step to making Google aware of your business. Your site will be visible on services like Local Search, Maps, and Google+. This should be the first place you look when trying to establish your online directories.
Build Up Your Citations
Once you’ve gotten the Google My Business listing out of the way, start working on your citations. Make sure your site shows up on citation sites and online business directories. This can help your customers find you through other channels. It also improves your search ranking by displaying all your business details.
Look For Backlinks
Outreach is always good, but the best backlinks are the ones that you get through organic means. Various sources could include local newspapers, bloggers, or even other businesses. The more backlinks you have, the more visibility you gain. It also improves your search engine ranking.
Manage Your Reviews
Honest reviews are an important aspect of your local SEO efforts. The main factors that contribute to your search rankings are the number of reviews, overall quality, and authority of the review sites. They display the quality of your service to others looking for businesses like yours. They also signify your relevance and reliability to search engines.
Get Started With Your Local SEO
Now that your team can define local SEO and what it’s for, it’s time to get started. SEO is a long-term play. You won’t see overnight success with your local SEO campaign unless you somehow go viral. Instead, take the time to implement your campaign the right way. Take it slow and be sure to test your changes. Expect to see changes within 3 weeks of any site change. Once you see some updates to your ranking, experiment, and measure! Mess around with different variables and try to maximize your visibility. That’s how you can leverage local SEO for success.